Thursday, April 26

Too Much TV, Too Little Time

Like Lauren, I'm a big TV-head. I used to be really into movies, but for some reason aside from big blockbusters like Harry Potter and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies they have lost their appeal to me. Actually, I know precisely why that is. I want MORE. A longer story arc, characters that grow and change and that I can live with for a long time. That's why I like the movies I like because they still give me that. (And I'm betting I will like Hunger Games too, but I haven't read the books yet. I know, I know. That's terrible. I will remedy it soon, but I won't see the movie til after.)

I have a problem though. I work as a bartender three nights a week and this cuts into my TV time severely. Right now, since The Walking Dead and Californication just ended and True Blood won't be back for a little while longer, I only have three shows that I'm watching as they air:

I started watching General Hospital to fill the hole that my beloved soap One Life To Live left when it was canceled at the beginning of the year. *sniffle* I watch it either while I exercise or while I eat dinner when I'm shifting from writer mode to bartender mode. It's not as good as OLTL, though that could just be because I lived with OLTL for 18 years, but it gets me my daily melodrama fix.

Mad Men is on Sunday nights and since I'm off, I get to watch it live and tweet things like "Whoa! Angela Chase's mom is serving up LSD on #MadMen?!?! Am I dreaming???" It's kind of exciting to finally be in on the show so many of my friends have been talking about for ages. My husband and I only started watching last fall when we consumed all four seasons on Netflix in like two months. I'm addicted. For a full breakdown of why check out my review of it which will post on Rookie later tonight.

The Big Bang Theory is the first sitcom I've watched in over a decade. I loved sitcoms, like Roseanne and Blossom when I was a kid, but since then the only one I've really enjoyed was probably Seinfeld. Then my husband got me into this show. Not only does it feature actors from my childhood favorites-- Johnny Galecki who I thought was super cute and Mayim Bialik and Sara Gilbert who were both my idols--I totally relate to the geek factor. I grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation and a bunch of other sci-fi TV and movies (as documented on Rookie here.) This show could be me and my brother's inside joke. Oh and I totally sing "The Soft Kitty" song to my cats:

Unfortunately, The Big Bang Theory is on Thursday nights when I work, so I have to record it and watch it later.

It doesn't seem like this is a lot of TV to balance and it wouldn't be... except I have three other series on DVD going.

I have a regular writing day on Sundays with my friend Jenny. We write together for a few hours, then we make dinner and enjoy it with these handsome boys:

Supernatural. We are just finishing up season 4 right now and OMG am I obsessed. I'm totally a Dean girl. Love the car and the classic rock, what can I say. Jenny and I also seem to pick shows that perfectly suit what I'm working on. We were watching The Gilmore Girls when I was working on my adult book which is a mother/daughter story. Now I'm working on a YA novel that incorporates mythology and folklore, so Supernatural definitely feeds that. Though, um, watching it while you're eating is sometimes not so good.

Another series that has been feeding the muse for me is Buffy. Can you believe that up until this year, I'd only seen a couple episodes of Buffy here and there? I know! What is wrong with me! Both my brother and my best friend have been riding me about it forever and finally my brother just brought me his DVDs. I'd watched most of season one with him and then powered through season 2 and 3 on my own. I love it so much that this weekend I bought this t-shirt:

Buffy has to be one of most fun TV heroines ever and I can't believe it took me this long to recognize this truth. I've slowed down a little bit now that I'm on season 4 because my brother and several friends suggested that I go back and forth between Buffy and Angel. That's what I'm doing, but of course my husband sat down with me when I watched episode one of Angel and now he wants to watch those with me, so figuring out that schedule has been a bit difficult and it's been put on the back burner since we started watching this show:

Motorcycles. Rebellion. A main character who bears some resemblance to Kurt Cobain. Sounds like the perfect show for me. Oddly I end up resisting the perfect shows for a long time (often because of that lack of time thing) and my husband, who watched it on his own while I was at work, had to ask repeatedly before I gave it shot (and admittedly I did so because Tara Kelly told me how awesome it was too). After we watched one episode, I told my husband, "I will continue watching this with you if you admit that this basically a soap opera with violence and motorcycles."

"Sure. A really, really good soap opera," he agreed.

So we kept watching. The drama sucked me in, but the characters kept me. Many of them I disliked on the surface. Unlike say Angela Chase from my all-time favorite show, My So-Called Life, who is basically a mirror of me, I didn't see myself in anyone. Hell, I can't even imagine myself being friends with any of them. But their stories compel me. I know the writing is good because I feel for them even when I don't like them. As a couple of people pointed out to me, the first season echoes Hamlet and since I'm an even bigger sucker for Shakespeare than I am for soapy TV goodness, I'm severely addicted to this show. Like watched 2 seasons in less than a month addicted. If only I didn't have that pesky night job I'd be done with all of the seasons that are out and on to Six Feet Under which is the next show that has been recommended to me.

Despite my lack of time, I'm always looking for new shows to add to the queue, so what are you addicted to?

Monday, April 23

Must-See TV

This week at TFC, we're focusing on can't-miss movies or TV shows. Since the latter is a longer list for me because I'm such a TV head, I'll go with that. The following is a list of the regularly sheduled TV programs you can catch us watching in my house:

Monday: House, Being Human (which just ended), Smash

Tuesday: Glee, New Girl

Wednesday: Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23

Thursday: Awake

Sunday: The Killing, Mad Men

This does not include General Hospital (every day), Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (most days), or sports (currently Knicks and Mets). And it doesn't include older things we watch on Netflix. And it doesn't include demand, on which we like to watch Storage Wars, Shipping Wars and all those House Hunter shows.

Man, I watch a lot of TV.

The thing that has me most curious now: What is going to happen in the final episode of House? We noticed that Kal Penn is going to be in it, but Penn's character died a suicide a few seasons back when the actor decided to take time off to work in the Obama White House. So how is he coming back - a flashback? Or will House die and meet him in heaven?

The thing that has me most frustrated now: New Girl. I feel like the writers are so bent on the idea that Jess must be appealing to all the guys, and further that Jess and Nick must be on some kind of Ross-and-Rachel trajectory so that no other relationships are allowed to flourish even when there's charisma there.

The thing that has me post perplexed: Last night's time-bending episode of Mad Men. WT_?

Oh, and don't get me going on General Hospital.

So that's what I got today. It'd be more attractive if I could figure out New Blogger, but I can't, so.

How about you? What's one or more shows that you consider must-see? What's something you're loving or that's making you crazy on the tube?

Be well. Don't forget to write.

Monday, April 16

It's all about me!!!

This week we’re taking a look behind the scenes. In other words, what goes on in our writing or personal lives that you might not know. I thought about my obsession with all things ‘Idol’. Although that’s well documented. And now it’s more than Idol because we have X Factor (UK/USA/Australia); The Voice (UK/USA/Australia), Britains/USA/Australia’s Got Talent…… if there’s singing I’m there!!

So, then I decided to talk about my other obsession. Masterchef (yes, it’s always going to be TV related). It’s so bad that when it starts, I drop everything I’m doing to watch. So much so that my critique partners use the term Masterchef when I finish the end of a scene too abruptly – I very often get told ‘You’ve Masterchefed it’. They know that the scene has ended not because it was the right place to do so, but because it’s 5pm!

And the funniest thing is, I’m the world’s worst cook. I hate cooking. Though I am very good at burning. But for some strange reason I like watching others do it. My children have dubbed me ‘weird’.

I do have other little ‘foibles’, but they’re best not mentioned here….. for fear that the ‘weird’ label might stick!

Tuesday, April 3

Must See DVD Sets

Guys, this topic of the week (movies and TV) is for me. I'm obsessed with television. In order to control my list of must-sees, I'm going to go with 3 DVD sets that you can buy and watch in their entirety. Because marathons are THE BEST.

1. My So-Called Life. Seriously amazing. I mean, just watch this scene and you will need to see every episode of the sadly short-lived series:

2. The Wire. (My favorite season is season 4; here's that opening). Warning: Scary! Also: Language!:

3. Friday Night Lights. This theme song gives me chills. Trust me, just watch the dang show.

Monday, April 2

Fantasies of Downton

So this week we're talking about "Can't Miss Movies and TV" and of course, when I read this topic, my mind immediately flitted to day dreams of seeing HUNGER GAMES for the third time But after I reigned myself in from fantasies of Peeta in a cave, I thought, "Well, Hunger Games is kind of a given, so I better pick something else to write about."

So I decided to go with my second biggest obsession of the hour: DOWNTON ABBEY!

Okay, let me just start by saying, if you haven't seen Downton Abbey, add it to your Netflix Watch Instantly Queue this instant! And if you don't have a Netflix account, sign up for one now!

Downton Abbey (not to be confused with DowntoWn Abbey. I made that mistake when first trying to search for it) is a show about a very wealthy British family living in a super duper large house (that requires like 25 servants just to keep it running) during the early 1900s. It delves into the scandalous and dramatic lives of the family AND the servants who serve them (and brush their hair, and tie their ties, and saddle their horses, and cook their food, and even wipe their bums, although don't worry, that part is just implied, not actually shown). And who wouldn't want a "ladies' maid" to brush our hair at the end of the day while she listens to stories of our woe? (For me, the woe would definitely be along the lines of my unrequited love for a certain grime-covered, cave-slumbering tribute whose name shall not be mentioned for fear of lapsing into fantasy again.)

Now that we're all over our desires to live in 1960s New York City (after the Mad Man craze has died down a bit), thanks to Downton Abbey we can all now aspire to live in England in 1912 and say things like, "we'd better get her settled before the bloom has gone quite off the rose."

What's funny is that I met a "proper" English gent this weekend and he couldn't quite believe that our country was so obsessed with this show (which originated from England and now airs on our PBS). When I asked him if the show was popular in England he replied, "Only among old people." LOL! So what is it about this show that draws us in so? The scandal? The costumes? The Dowager Countess herself? 

If you watch the show, please feel free to weigh in!